[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Jonathan_Coulton_4128.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:[[OneOfUs Just like you]], only he writes songs.]]

-> "I find it hard to write about myself—or to write from a personal point of view. So the way I get around that is by writing from the perspective of a giant squid."
-->--'''Jonathan Coulton''', [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyqBrux7BSg&feature=related in an interview]]'

A primarily internet-based musician who writes songs on all sorts of stuff, though his more popular songs tend to cater to the nerd or pop-culture crowd. You probably know him best as the writer of ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'''s ending song, "Still Alive". He also gained fame before that for his "Thing-A-Week" series of albums, wherein he challenged himself to write and record one song a week for an entire year, and [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome actually did it]].

Notable for being one of the first musicians to fully embrace the online model of earning money for his songs - most of his songs are available free on [[http://www.jonathancoulton.com/ his website]], if you want to dig through his blog, but they're also all for sale through a variety of media. He also uses the Internet to gauge where to perform - if enough fans petition him, he'll plan a concert for you.

He often performs with Music/PaulAndStorm, and has done collaborations with Music/MCFrontalot. He has been involved in several RiffTrax, including playing some songs before the live ''Film/Plan9FromOuterSpace''. He's the resident musician on the Creator/{{NPR}} game show ''Radio/AskMeAnother''. He is also the "Official Contributing Troubadour" of ''Popular Science'' magazine, and sang the opening theme for their podcast. He also has a handful of songs featured in ''VideoGame/RockBand''. He's also long-time friends with John Hodgman, has written songs for Hodgman's book tours (which he often participates in), and has appeared on all three audiobooks for Hodgman's CompleteWorldKnowledge series. Basically, he's popular, is what we're getting at.

Recently became noted by the media when his [[RearrangeTheSong rearrangement]] of Music/SirMixALot's "Baby Got Back" was used by ''Series/{{Glee}}'' without his permission (to the point of keeping various changes like a duck being used as a SoundEffectBleep). [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement And that's all we need to say on it]].

Coulton is currently working with ComicBook writer Greg Pak on a comic miniseries/graphic novel based on the characters from many of his songs, named ''ComicBook/CodeMonkeySaveWorld''. The {{Website/Kickstarter}} project finished with 872% of its goal.

You can go [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/crowner.php/BestEpisode/JonathanCoulton here]] to vote for his best songs.

[[folder:Discography]]
Studio Albums:
* ''Smoking Monkey'' (2003)
* ''Where Tradition Meets Tomorrow'' (2004)
* ''Our Bodies, Ourselves, Our Cybernetic Arms'' (2005)
* ''Thing A Week One'' (2006)
* ''Thing A Week Two'' (2006)
* ''Thing A Week Three'' (2006)
* ''Thing A Week Four'' (2006)
* ''Artificial Heart'' (2011)
* ''One Christmas At a Time'' (2012; with John Roderick)

Live Albums:
* ''[[PunctuatedForEmphasis Best. Concert. Ever.]]'' (2009)

Compilations:
* ''[=JoCo=] Looks Back'' (2008)
* ''Jonathan Coulton's Greatest Hit (Plus 13 Other Songs)'' (2012)
[[/folder]]

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!!Tropes Related to this Musician Include:

* AffectionateParody: His song "Big Dick Farts a Polka" is one for/of his longtime touring partners Music/PaulAndStorm. They returned the favor with "Live", which riffs off Coulton's common "MadScientist In Love" theme.
* AndNowYouMustMarryMe: "The Future Soon".
* AntiChristmasSong: "Chiron Beta Prime", framed as a Christmas family letter... after humanity lost a RobotWar and the narrator's family has been banished to an asteroid mining colony named Chiron Beta Prime.
* AntiLoveSong: "Someone Is Crazy".
-->''The world's against you so you think or maybe wish it was\\
And at least that way someone would care but baby no one does\\
Not even you\\
Baby someone is crazy and it's you.''
* AudienceParticipationSong: Parts of the chorus for "Re: Your Brains." [[StylisticSuck To be sung as zombies.]]
* BadassPrincess: "The Princess Who Saved Herself"
* BlatantLies: "Not About You", basically a BreakupSong for the hopelessly-in-denial.
* BreakupSong: "Not About You" and "Always the Moon" among several others.
* CelebrityIsOverrated: "Tom Cruise Crazy"
* CompletelyMissingThePoint: In-universe - The EvilOverlord from "Skullcrusher Mountain" about [[WhatIsThisThingYouCallLove love]].
* CouldSayItBut: In "The Presidents":
--> And I don't like to make political statements
--> [[spoiler:''[[[SubvertedTrope remains silent for the last line of the song]]]'']]
* TheCoverChangesTheMeaning: His cover of Sir-Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back".
** TheCoverChangesTheGender: His cover of Alanis Morisette's "You Oughta Know" surprisingly averts this, lending an interesting twist to the song.
* CreepyDoll: The doll in "[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Creepy Doll]]" always follows you, has a ruined eye that's always open, and has a pretty mouth to swallow you whole.
* CyberneticsEatYourSoul‎: "The Future Soon", although portrayed with [[LyricalDissonance very upbeat guitar and somewhat comical lyrics.]]
** Aritficial Heart has the subject lose the ability to care after getting his [[TitleDrop artificial heart]].
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: The "space lab in space" from "Future Soon."
* DesignerBaby: ''Betty and Me'' is about a loutish husband who (at least thinks) his son will be one ([[spoiler: it's pretty clear that his wife's cheating on him with the geneticist]]).
* DontYouLikeIt: The EvilOverlord narrating "Skullcrusher Mountain" is trying so hard to please his captive love interest, but doesn't quite understand that she wouldn't like a half-pony, half-monkey monster.
* DrivenToSuicide: The vampire in "Blue Sunny Day".
* EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys: "My Monkey", "Code Monkey", "Monkey Shines"...
* EvilOverlord: "Skullcrusher Mountain" sung from the perspective of one in love.
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: From "I Feel Fantastic": "All I know is that the steak tastes better when I take my ''steak-tastes-better'' pill."
* FoeYay: "Nemeses". [[invoked]]
* GadgeteerGenius: "The Future Soon".
* GoldDigger: "Millionaire Girlfriend" has an average guy daydreaming about having one.
** "Till the Money Comes" is about a guy who hates his wife but decides to hang around until she comes into money so that he can divorce her and take half of it.
* GreatestHitsAlbum: ''[=JoCo=] Looks Back'' collects the best of his ''Thing A Week'' project.
** There's also ''[[SelfDeprecation Jonathan Coulton's Greatest Hit (Plus 13 Other Songs)]]''
* HugeGuyTinyGirl: "Just As Long As Me"- a folksy song about a Huge Guy who is tired of Tiny Girls and wants a woman of his size for once.
* HulkSpeak: "Code Monkey".
* IDoNotLikeGreenEggsAndHam: The narrator of "Ikea" is dismissive of the title store at first, but by the third verse he's singing praises about what a great deal it is.
* IHaveYouNowMyPretty: "Skullcrusher Mountain"
* IJustWantToBeNormal: That poor giant squid in "I Crush Everything" wants nothing more than to live a normal life. Too bad he's a ''giant'' squid.
* IWantMyJetpack: "The Future Soon".
* IntercourseWithYou: Subverted in "First of May", we think.... Played straight in "Soft Rocked by Me".
* InTheStyleOf: Changed the iTunes listing of his "Baby Got Back" cover to a sarcastic "...(In The Style Of {{Glee}})" after they essentially used his arrangement without his permission and told him he should be thankful for the publicity. However, [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming he's donating all proceeds from the sale of the song to the It Gets Better Foundation and VH1 Save The Music as a result]].
* LoveMartyr: The narrator of "Betty and Me." Betty repeatedly cheats on him and insults him and he's conned out of money by the other man. He still shows devotion to Betty. While he is honestly too stupid to realize that Betty is cheating on him, he just kind of accepts the insults.
* LyricalDissonance: "Shop Vac," "Blue Sunny Day," and ''numerous'' others.
* MachineWorship: "The Future Soon".
* MadScientist: "Skullcrusher Mountain" is probably the best known, though "The Future Soon" and other songs contain similar themes.
* TheManIsStickingItToTheMan: "Sticking It To Myself".
* ManlyTears: "Soft Rocked by Me" has:
-->Have you ever been in love with a man who's sensitive?
-->Have you ever spent the night with a man who cries?
-->Well that's me, I'm sensitive
-->And I cry, I'm crying right now
-->In a manly way
* MixAndMatchCritters: The [[AllGirlsLikePonies half pony]], [[EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys half monkey]] [[BodyHorror monster]] from "Skullcrusher Mountain".
* MotorMouth: "I Feel Fantastic," a song about a guy with a pill for every occasion. Literally.
* MyFriendsAndZoidberg: His GreatestHits album is an inversion - ''Jonathan Coulton's Greatest Hit (Plus 13 Other Songs)''
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: [[TheIgor Scarface]].
* NewscasterCameo: Soterios Johnson of [=WNYC=] Radio's [=NPR=] Morning Edition, the subject of ''Dance Soterios Johnson Dance".
* NonIndicativeTitle: "You Ruined Everything" is ''not'' a BreakupSong; it's actually a very ''happy and loving'' song.
* NoodleIncident: "He brings it up again; the famous apple fritter incident of 2010."
* NoMrBondIExpectYouToDine
* PowersuitMonkey: "Code Monkey" describes a literal Type Three monkey who sings in HulkSpeak.
* PunctuatedForEmphasis: His live album "Best. Concert. Ever."
* RealSongThemeTune: "Code Monkey" is one for the animated sitcom ''CodeMonkeys''.
* RickRoll: He likes to do this in the middle of "Mr. Fancy Pants" thanks to the electric machine he uses for the backing beat.
* RobotMaid: "Todd the T1000" is about a guy who feels threatened by his robot butler.
* SelfDeprecation: See MyFriendsAndZoidberg above.
* ShapedLikeItself: "Shop Vac" includes the line "I like that Starbucks here, it's better than the other one / 'Cause the other one's not as good." The bland, hollow, circular reasoning fits well with the song's theme of the bland, hollow, circular life the protagonists are leading.
* SiameseTwinSongs: On "[=JoCo=] Looks Back", "Creepy Doll" does this... and leads into "[[MoodWhiplash Mr. Fancy Pants]]".
* StalkerWithACrush: Very common theme.
* StepfordSuburbia: "Brookline" portrays the title town in such a manner, from the point of view of one of the people who still has enough self-awareness to notice its unsettling nature.
* StupidStatementDanceMix: Has done a few, such as "Beds Hurt My Booty".
* SubvertedRhymeEveryOccasion: Unusually, "First of May" ends its chorus with a line ''more'' obscene than the one the rhyme scheme leads the viewer to expect.
* SuicideBySunlight: "Blue Sunny Day".
* ThirdPersonPerson: The titular Code Monkey of "Code Monkey" only ever refers to Code Monkey as such.
* ToiletHumor: "Big Dick Farts a Polka".
* TheWikiRule: http://www.jonathancoulton.com/wiki/Main_Page
* WorldOfCardboardSpeech: "I Crush Everything" is one of these in song form. The reason the giant squid hates himself is because while he just wants to make friends with the dolphins and play with the pretty white ships, he can't do it without breaking them.
* YouAreNotAlone: "I'm Your Moon". Even if Pluto is no longer one of the planets, its moon Charon is still there for it.
* YourCheatingHeart: Betty of "Betty and Me" cheats on her husband with Dr. Martin, though the poor sap is completely oblivious.
* ZombieApocalypse: "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQYjZc7gKXc Re: Your Brains]]"
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